In the nightcap, Villa Rica’s Rodney Hill hit a jumper with 2:34 to play in the game, cutting the deficit to 51-48. No problem for New Manchester’s Nashon Dortch, who drilled a wide-open three pointer at the 2:18 mark. After Joe Boyer of NMHS hit a pair of free throws, the host Jaguars were leading by eight points (56-48) with two minutes left on the clock.
Hill showed a hot hand in the late showing, scoring eight points in the final two minutes, but New Manchester’s Glenn Holloway’s dunk, two points from the charity stripe by Keymont Jenkins and a third from Dortch sealed the victory.
The game started slowly as both teams struggled out of the gates. Dortch broke a 3-3 tie halfway through the first quarter with a jumper before Jenkins added a fast break layup, helping the Jaguars hold the 10-6 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the visiting Wildcats scored nine of 10 points during a two minute stretch to regain the lead. The Wildcats were able to extend their advantage to six points when T.J. Davis hit a three pointer to push the score to 27-21 with 1:42 left in the half.
The Jaguars used three players to score seven points down the stretch and snatched the lead back on a Dortch bucket with three ticks left on the clock. At the break, the Jaguars led 28-27.
The third quarter opened with the Dortch and Jenkins show. The two Jaguars traded baskets during a 9-0 stretch to push the New Manchester advantage to double digits (37-27) with 4:50 left in the period.
Villa Rica clawed back to within three points (37-34) but four straight free throws to close out the quarter left the score at 41-34 heading into the final stanza.
The Jaguars pulled out the victory largely due to their free throw shootings. New Manchester’s shooting came up cold in the fourth quarter, hitting only two shots from the field, but it connected on 14-of-21 free throws and held on for the victory. On the night, New Manchester finished 23-for-33 from the charity stripe.
The Jaguars had four players finish in double digits. Jenkins finished with a game-high 18 points while Dortch added 16. Joe Boyer scored eight of his 15 points in the second quarter while Holloway added six of his 12 points in the fourth.
The Wildcats’ Hill finished with 16 points as 10 came in the fourth quarter rally. Josh Tay added 13 points in the losing effort.
In the opener, both teams seemed fairly even for the first few minutes of the game. Dashauna Smith of New Manchester and Villa Rica’s Shamaya Evans traded three-point baskets to open the game.
With Villa Rica leading 7-6 halfway through the quarter, the Lady Wildcats were done playing. The visiting team used eight points from Kay Crowder and four from Rhianna Warren during a 14-0 tear to close out the period.
The rally continued in the second quarter as Villa Rica’s Brittany Wright took over. The senior scored the first nine points of the quarter as her Lady Wildcats increased their advantage to 33-6. Deesha Brefford scored a basket to snap the streak but the damage was done as Villa Rica held a 39-9 lead at halftime.
Villa Rica played mostly its bench during the third quarter but New Manchester clawed its way back. Brefford scored five points as the Lady Jaguars cut the deficit to 41-19 heading into the final quarter.
New Manchester could never come within 22 points as Villa Rica cruised to victory.
Wright scored all 18 of her points during the first half, leading the nine VRHS players scoring in the victory.
Brefford led the Lady Jaguars with 12 points.